May 11, 2011

More stabby stabby

Trying needle felting has led me to a new obsession.  Miniatures.  I had progress pics of my first attempt at a miniature on my last post but now that my tiny teddy is finished I'm keen to try lots of other types of critters.  He was finished that same day and turned out cute enough that I wanted to start another right away.  Here he is all finished.

Yesterday morning I started a new mini bear.  But as I worked on his head I discovered that this fibre didn't want to be a bear. It wanted to be a bunny.  So Neville the blue bunny was born.  I finished him today just before lunch.

He has glass bead eyes and is thread jointed.  He stands 10cm tall (not including the ears) and is able to stand by himself. I have yet to accessorise him but he wears a cute shocked expression on his sideways glancing face.  I'm really pleased with how he's turned out.  

You can see from the pictures of the mini teddy and Neville that my second attempt is about a gazillion times better than my first. I plan to buy this book at my first opportunity so I can actually find out if I'm doing this right.  Then soon after that (hopefully) I plan to start selling my OOAK miniature felted critters.  I just have to figure out what I'm going to charge for them.

May 9, 2011

Stabby stabby

Since my return to teddy making I've decided to try my hand at needle felting for the first time.  I ended up needle felting the muzzle, eyelids and paw pads of my teddy.  And funnily enough, it turns out that stabbing a small bear in the face repeatedly is remarkably therapeutic. :oP
I'm fairly happy with how its turned out, especially since its my first ever attempt.  So the teddy is coming along pretty well; I still have to sew her ears in place and work on some minor embellishments, but the actual bear is all but done

I'm currently in the process of making her a crochet lace dress and I've decided she needs a small friend so I'm needle felting her a micro bear to carry with her.  Progress photos...

Its the Loch Ness...
no wait, its just some wool with a needle in it

Micro teddy head

May 2, 2011

A whole lot to learn

In 2000 I decided I wanted to take up a new hobby. This was way back when I wasn't really into knitting that much and long before I discovered spinning. I knew I didn't have the patience to quilt but I wanted to take up something to do with sewing. So I decided to give teddy bears a try. I bought myself a couple of teddy making books and set out to discover what all the teddy fuss was about. Now, I've never really been into teddies all that much but it didn't take me long to realise where their massive appeal lay. I was soon designing my own bears and I made teddies by hand for dozens of people.  The last bear I designed and made won second place in the synthetic bears division in the Coffs Harbour Doll and Teddy Fair in 2003. That was so long ago and I gifted that bear to Charly from IxCHeL last year.

Recently, I decided to try my hand at Amigurumi and made this doll. She's essentially complete and for my first attempt I think she turned out pretty good.  I do still need to make some clothes for her but I've been distracted by something else.  

Just before I'd finished sewing the hair in place

As many of you know, I lost my beloved Moo and I miss him desperately and I think this has had something to do with my return to soft toy crafting. Once I'd made the doll, I remembered that I'd been thinking about going back to teddy making for quite some time but hadn't really gotten around to it.  So I went out and bought some inexpensive synthetic fur (hey, its been nearly 10years, we don't want to mess up mohair - its too expensive for that - LOL) and sat down to design a new teddy.

Incomplete head
Because I've been away from the craft for so long I decided to take a look around the net and see what's out there. And I have to say; OH. MY. GOD! Teddy making has come a long way since I last had a shot at it.  In fact, it makes me feel that my latest attempt (which I thought was pretty good yesterday) is a bit sad and shoddy by comparison.  Check out Bear Bottom Originals and Beckoning Bears to see what I mean.  Clearly I have some ways to go before I am creating such gorgeous babies.  But I'm keen to learn and willing to take it one step at a time. I think I'll be working in synthetic for a while before I get to the same level as some of these people though.  I'm sure it'll be fun and I fully intend to keep blogging about it :oD